Interview with Accepted.com: We Need More Voices

While back, Accepted.com asked if I’d be interested in an interview for their podcast.

When I was a first year med student and found out I was pregnant, I immediately felt alone. There were scant other parents in my class, and were mostly men/fathers. My cousin was also pregnant, but she already had a career. I found two–just two–blogs on the Internet by mothers in medicine. There just wasn’t much out there to encourage me. Already an introvert, I retreated further into my bubble.

It eventually got better. But it doesn’t have to be that way. My med school baby was the best decision I’ve ever made. Every story will be different, but I share mine in hopes that it encourages others, and shows that you CAN do it all, even if it looks different than you imagined it.

You can find my interview here.

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Motherhood and Trauma on Surgery

When I was on my surgery rotation, there was one day that was particularly rough. It was a Saturday and I was on call by myself, without any classmates. I saw more gruesome and horrifying things in that one day than I could ever imagine. It was a day that permanently broke something inside of me. There is no going back after a day like that. One of my attending surgeons even came up to me later to say how well I handled those situations (totally a lie, but pretty awesome coming from a surgeon šŸ˜‚). This is why all doctors are wounded healers. 

After being awake for 30+ hours on that call day, I went home hoping to crash in my comfortable bed and try my hardest to forget everything I’d seen and done. As soon as I stepped in the door of home, I hear, “Mommy?” Coming from my daughter’s room. I was spent. I had nothing left to give mentally, emotionally,… just nothing. I felt sub-human. Still in my scrubs, shoes discarded at the door, I walk into my daughter’s room to her smiling face, chanting “Mommy!” While jumping in her crib. My sunshine, happy to see me. 

A year and a half later and I’m finally sharing a piece I wrote that day. Writing it helped me deal with some of the residual effects that I still feel. 

Med Student Mom

Matched!

The first time I ever went to a Match Day, I thought it was a special kind of wonderful. A huge room absolutely packed with family and friends, medical students jumping for joy with their envelopes telling them where they were going for their training… it was so much fun.

And it wasn’t even MY DAY. It was just so fun seeing everyone else so happy.

And yet, I was unbelievably sad. Three failed applications to medical school and I had just about given up. I’m sure any sane person would have.

But, I am stubborn, and I am just different. I remember telling David once that I didn’t know if I would ever truly be happy, working as a scientist but regretting never going to medical school. I’m pretty sure even he, my biggest supporter, thought I had lost my damn mind when I said that. Maybe I was just being dramatic, but at the time I was working a job that I absolutely hated, due to circumstances beyond my control. Attending that Match Day filled me with a newfound optimism. I’ve got to try just one more time. Whatever the outcome, then I will be done and I will move on. Just one more time.

Now, almost 5 years later, and my Match Day is this Friday. Today I got this email:

I started a new rotation today, and we were busy seeing patients when I heard a very faint ding! in my pocket. And I just knew, That’s it. That’s gotta be the email. As soon as I had a split second to check, all I saw was, “Congr–“ on the subject line.

And now my Facebook and Instagram feeds are all filled with the same picture from friends in med schools across the country, and I am so happy for everyone. We are almost at the finish line for this leg of the race.

So, so happy. I get a Match Day, I get to have a residency position to start the process of being a pediatrician. I am so overwhelmingly relieved. The constant stress of medical school has all been in the hopes of landing a residency.

First and second year: Make good grades and pass Step 1 so I can land a residency.

Third year: Make good grades and get good letters so I can land a residency

Fourth year, early on: Pass Step 2 and put together a great app so I can land a residency.

Fourth year, after interviewing: Please let me Match into a residency! Did I put programs in the right order to Match? Did I rank enough programs? Will I actually get to be a resident?

It almost makes me wonder if Match Day will be anti-climatic. Thank goodness that’s all over???

All of that aside, I am so relieved. In four days we will have an answer and can start looking for a house. I’m ready. I’m so ready. I’m not ready. But I’m ready. There will always be so much I don’t know, but I am finally almost there. PagingDrAllie, pediatric resident physician.

A dream, ever so close to becoming true.

 

129 Days


Today I was reminded that even though I’ve learned so much in med school, there is still SO MUCH I don’t know and need to learn, practice and repeat. The answers don’t always come from textbooks. I am so thankful that as an intern, there will still be several layers of supervision as I learn to navigate the responsibility of making medical decisions. 129 days! Tonight’s agenda, though, is learning about QI & peds EKGs as well as reviewing some articles & brushing up on sedation meds. (And NO, I’m not hardcore studying for Step 3 yet, but I ALWAYS keep reading material & a To Do list on me!)

On a separate note, my ROL (rank order list, the list of my preferred residency programs in the order of my preference) is certified and will be locked in tomorrow night at 9pm. Match Day is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY and I am so excited. I just want to KNOW already. I’m itching to start the house hunting, moving, moving on with my life, etc!

Pediatric PathologyĀ 

For the past two weeks I’ve been on a pediatric pathology rotation.


I had no idea just how much I have forgotten about histology slides since the first semester of med school.

Simple, cuboidal, squamous, stratified. Ciliated. Eosinophils, neutrophils, H&E stain. So much specific terminology, ways of describing the sectioned specimens under the microscope.

The first thing I did on my first day was look at slides of placental tissue. Then I realized… I have no clue what exactly it is that I am looking at, or even looking for. šŸ˜¦ 

The umbilical cord sections were easy. Normal three vessel (one vein, two arteries) and even one two vessel (one artery) cord. That much I knew. But the other slides?? Totally no clue. That’s when I realized that in histo and path in first and second years that I’ve never actually looked at placental tissue before.

It’s been pretty cool so far, being on pathology. I’ve gotten to section placentas by myself, evaluate kidney biopsy samples, perform an autopsy, and went to neonatology M&Ms. There is so much to learn in medicine, there’s no wonder they make us pick a specialty because there is no way to know everything.

The End of Interview Season!

After 15,000 miles, 6 vehicles, 4 flights, 4 new states, and 6 audiobooks, I am finally DONE interviewing for residency! How fitting that I wrapped up my season in the same place where I wrote my personal statement last summer. I have met so many incredible people over the last three months, and I feel so incredibly blessed to call this field mine and get to work this summer. Now… how to come up with a Rank Order List when I LOVE my top 8 programs?!